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Authors: Jose-Henrique G. M. Alves, A. Chawla, H.L. Tolman, D.J. Schwab, G. MMAB/EMC/NCEP
Title:The Operational Implementation of a Great Lakes Wave Forecasting System at NOAA/NCEP
Additional Bibliographic Information:
MMAB Contribution Number:317
Keywords:Great Lakes wave forecasting
Abstract:The development of a Great Lakes wave forecasting system at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) is described. The system is an implementation of the WAVEWATCH III model, forced with atmospheric data from NCEP’s regional Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model (the North American Mesoscale Model,NAM)and the National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD). Reviews are made of previous Great Lakes wave modeling efforts. The development history of NCEP’s Great Lakes wave forecasting system is presented. A performance assessment is made of model wind speeds, as well as wave heights and periods, relative to National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) measurements. Performance comparisons are made relative to NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) wave prediction system. Results show that 1- and 2-day forecasts from NCEP have good skill in predicting wave heights and periods. NCEP’s system provides a better representation of measured wave periods, relative to the GLERLmodel in most conditions. Wave heights during storms, however, are consistently underestimated by NCEP’s current operational system, whereas the GLERL model provides close agreement with observations. Research efforts to develop new wave-growth parameterizations and overcome this limitation, have led to upgrades to theWAVEWATCHIII model, scheduled to become operational at NCEP in 2013. Results are presented from numerical experiments made with the new wave-model physics, showing significant improvements to the skill of NCEP’s Great Lakes wave forecasting system in predicting storm wave heights.

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